The Los Angeles Philharmonic welcomes Osmo Vänskä and Inon Barnatan

Spring was in the air for a feast of Brahms, Bach, Sibelius, and a world premiere from contemporary composer, Donghoon Shin

Written by

Matthew Bedard

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Osma Vänskä. Provided courtesy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

An extraordinary outing was had at Walt Disney Hall Saturday evening with the inimitable Los Angeles Philharmonic.

The stylistic generosity of Osmo Vänskä (Conductor Laureate at the Minnesota Orchestra for 19 years; more recently, Music Director of the Seoul Phil, 2020-2023) made feast of the room, as he lead an orchestra filled with the redemptive promise of the springtime through Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1, magically dusted by the mesmerizing piano mastery of internationally touring star, Inon Barnatan. At the Brahms conclusion, the pianist stayed put for an encore, blessing the rapt room with a solo rendition of Bach's "Sheep May Safely Graze"... the standing ovation that followed could hardly let him finish.

Donghoon Shin. Provided courtesy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Performed thereafter was an eerily dreamy, and at times, rambunctiously orchestral inclusive (not an empty, inactive seat on stage), for the world premiere of Upon His Ghostly Solitude by Donghoon Shin, in the presence of the composer himself. To conclude, Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 3 (the movements of which have been suggested by scholars to depict the birth, funeral, and resurrection of Christ) sent the evening flittering up into the fabled, sound-enhancing rafters of Frank Ghery's architectural treasure. It was indeed a moment of seasonal arising.

Inon Barnatan. Provided courtesy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
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Los Angeles Philharmonic